The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Michael Daniel Biggane

BIGGANE, Michael Daniel

Michael Daniel Biggane was born in Stradbally, Co. Waterford in November 1894. His father, Patrick Biggane, who was a Police Constable in the R.I.C., was born in Limerick, and had married Margaret Doosey in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo in 1885. Margaret was a native of Roscommon and Patrick was stationed there at the time. Margaret’s father, John, was a Sergeant in the R.I.C.

Patrick and Margaret had a large family of 14 children, 2 of whom died in infancy.

In 1901 the family were living in Stradbally village, Co. Waterford with 10 of their children, 7 sons and 3 daughters, aged from 16 to 2.  The house was classified as 3rd class, with 2 rooms and 3 windows.

In 1911 the family had moved to Bunmahon, a small village beside the sea at the centre of the Copper Coast, an area of copper mines active in the 19th Century. There were 10 in the family living in a 2nd class house. Their eldest son, Arthur, was an Assistant Manager in the Creamery.

In January 1915, Michael Biggane enlisted in the Canadian Army Service Corps in Toronto, Canada giving his occupation as Chaffeur. He left for England on the SS Megantic in May 1915.

In January 1916 he joined the Canadian Forces in France. In July 1918 he was transferred to the recently formed 3rd Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Corps.                                 

Michael Biggane was returning from leave in Ireland on the RMS Leinster on 10th October 1918 and was lostin the sinking. His body was washed ashore at Dalby near Peel on the Isle of Man on 9th November 1918. He was buried in the family grave in Ballylaneen Cemetery, Ballylaneen, Co. Waterford.

Michael’s father, Patrick, retired from the R.I.C. in 1913 after 40 years’ service and died in 1924. One of Michael’s older brothers, James Edward, had joined in R.I.C. in 1911 and served until it was disbanded in 1922. A younger brother, Thomas, served in the Irish Guards from 1917 to 1919. Thomas then joined the R.I.C., emigrating to U.S.A. in 1922 where he married and settled in New York.



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